More wheels, more wings
June 25, 2009


EBENSBURG - Thousands are expected to attend Wheels and Wings, a vehicle and motorcycle show/wing fest to be held from 5 to 10 p.m. today in Ebensburg.

Since its 2005 inception, the annual chassis showcase and wingfest, sponsored by the Ebensburg Area Business Commission and Main Street Partnership, has grown into one of the community's largest and most popular events.

Festivities are scheduled throughout downtown, along portions of North Center Street, several adjoining streets and in Memorial Park, where a giant, inflatable slide has been added this year.

Seven vendors and a record 230 cars, trucks and motorcycles were registered in last year's show. An estimated 15,000 people attended the five-hour event.

In anticipation of another capacity crowd, 14 food vendors - including B & T Concessions, Pit Stop Concessions, Wing-N-Things, Pizza Hut/Wing Street, Ebensburg Area Ambulance, Firehouse Grill, Castle Pub, Portage Area Summer Fest Committee, Carol's Concessions, Holy Name Hawk Wings, Nikki D's Wings from the Grove, Kosta's Restaurant, Yahnert's Concessions and Friendship Fire Company - will vye for "best wings" bragging rights and offer an array of wings and other food items.

Adult beverages will be available for purchase at Dauntless Fire Company and The Castle Pub food stations.

"In an effort to cut down on food line wait times, we have twice as many wing vendors at this year's event," said Ebensburg Borough Community Development Director Christine Strugala. "An impressive volume of wings were sold last year, with one vendor alone selling 1,100 pounds of wings."

This is the fourth year Kosta's Restaurant will participate, earning "Best Wings" recognition in 2006 and 2007. Owners Rick and Jayne Polchito, sons Nick and Curt, nephew Scott and seven employees will be working the fryers.

"Compared to our first year, we more than doubled the amount of wings sold last year. We added another fryer, so we'll be using four fryers and have about 1,500 pounds of wings for our booth this year. With each fryer cooking approximately 100 pounds of wings per hour, the additional fryer should help speed up the process," Rick Polchito said.

He said they will offer nearly 10 varieties of wings along with hot sausage sandwiches.

Registration will begin at 5 p.m. for the car, truck and motorcycle exhibition.

There is a $5 entry fee per vehicle. Trophies will be awarded to the top 50 cars and trucks and 25 motorcycles recognized as best overall entries, with a best of show recognition given in car/truck and motorcycle categories.

Strugala was instrumental in creating the event as an adjunct to Johnstown's Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally.

"I was passionate about starting an event during Thunder festivities that would show off our town," Strugala said. "Seeing thousands of people downtown, with scores of motorcycles parked along street curbs and dozens of patrons lined out the doors of local establishments reflects the event's popularity and success."


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